Avengers 2: What we know so far

Avengers: Age of Ultron is still many months away, but here's some of the information we've picked up so far

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The team are back

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The cast of the last film are returning, including Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans, although it’s understood that Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury will have a comparatively reduced role and Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is too busy being evil up in Asgard to appear this time.

Writer/director Joss Whedon is also back

This is fairly obvious news, but will probably placate any fans that the sequel won’t just be a cheap cash-in.

They’ve filmed in Surrey

Namely Shepperton studios, although the film is expected to have a global scope as the heroes battle Ultron and his army of drones in Italy, South Korea and South Africa.

The Avengers will take on a robot this time – and the gentry

Metal baddie Ultron (a mo-cap James Spader) is created to protect humanity, but inevitably decides the best way to do that is to destroy them (honestly, do these people never watch films?). But he’s a little different to your average Terminator according to Whedon, who told Empire:

“He’s not a creature of logic – he’s a robot who’s genuinely disturbed. We’re finding out what makes him menacing and at the same time endearing and funny and strange and unexpected, and everything a robot never is.”

You can take a look at Ultron’s big scary robot face at the end of this creepy teaser trailer:

It looks like the Avengers will also battle nasty scientist Baron von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann) early on in the film, presumably including his two young charges (see below).

Iron Man’s to blame for the main villain

Ultron didn’t just pop up out of nowhere – according to a new plot synopsis released this week “When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry”. He probably just forgot to turn on the virus-scanning software.

Some new additions to the team may have a chequered history

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New additions include brother sister duo Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), a reality warper/telekinetic and super-speedster respectively. In test footage seen earlier this year, RadioTimes.com glimpsed the characters locked in Perspex cells (as seen after the credits of Captain America: The Winter Soldier), followed by Olsen fighting alongside Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye.

The twins appeared to be the prisoners of evil scientist Baron von Strucker in the post-credits scene, so maybe the Avengers bust them out – or maybe the kids are sent to fight them. Either way, it looks like they’ll all be buddies soon enough.

Iron Man’s Siri has evolved

Actor Paul Bettany’s had a nice gig doing voiceover work for the Artificial Intelligence JARVIS in the last few Marvel films, but now he’s going physical. Yes, Bettany’s been cast as heroic android The Vision, who in the comics was originally created by Ultron to kill the Avengers but ended up joining them instead. Along with the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, that makes a lot of uneasy alliances in this film.

Don Cheadle has made the cut

After playing James Rhodes (aka War Machine/Iron Patriot) in Iron Man 2 and 3, it looks like Cheadle will be playing with the big boys this time around as he was seen hanging out with the Avengers in footage shown at the San Diego Comic-con. Andy Serkis was also glimpsed in the footage, apparently out of the motion-capture suit for once.

The Avengers have a swingin’ new pad

In the footage we saw, Tony Stark had souped up his New York penthouse for his pals to live in, with all the mod cons including floor to ceiling windows, twin laboratories for Stark and Bruce Banner, and parking for supersonic jets. Try finding that on Gumtree.

Hulk has a tough time in this one

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In the test footage RadioTimes.com caught a glimpse of a new bulky suit for Robert Downey Jr.’s character taking on Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk (see the concept art for the scene above). Known as the Hulkbuster armour in the comics, the suit is basically a ‘roided-up version of Tony Stark’s usual get-up suitable for taking on a less-than-jolly green giant.

Other footage shown at San Diego Comic-Con showed an un-Hulked Bruce Banner in a bad spot, looking tired and weak as he stumbled through a forest. Whedon and Ruffalo have said Hulk has an expanded role in the new film, so perhaps that’s what they’re showing. HULK EMOTE.

A few others might be in trouble too

The Comic-Con footage showed Iron Man looking over a field of bodies, apparently including the other Avengers, and Captain America’s broken shield. Things are getting serious.

But love may be in the air

It looked a bit like Hulk and Black Widow (Johansson) had a little something going on in the Comic-Con footage, as they pressed their hands together. Perhaps it’s more of a King Kong vibe, though.

More Hawkeye for his legions of fans

Jeremy Renner was apparently unhappy with the fairly small role his archer had in the first Avengers film (and presumably the endless online jokes about why a God, a supersoldier, a billionaire and a giant monster would hang out with someone whose weapon is about 400 years out of date), but apparently the spotlight will be more on him this time. Yay, said nobody.

It comes out in May

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Specifically May 1 2015, and to know the whole story we’ll really have to wait until then (or at least the first proper trailer).